Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Retired AFL star Adam Goodes is known to many for his resilient journey in the face of detrimental treatment by AFL spectators and the media beginning in 2013.

In this real-world focused lesson, students work independently and collaboratively to critically reflect upon the relationship between media and controversy. Students connect with existing knowledge about the media and controversy and then apply this to a Media Watch case study that relates to Adam Goodes. After considering this example of how the media covered and contributed to a controversy, students are invited to put themselves into key media roles and negotiate a real media dilemma. This collaborative process heightens student awareness of roles within the media and of decisions made that shape the news. Ultimately, students reflect on the positive and negative potential of the relationship between the media and controversy.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, The Final Quarter holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field. Learn more about the film here.

We highly recommend that students view the film in its entirety before participating in subsequent lessons. Our Watching the Film lessons are designed to support you in facilitating this process. Given the content, it is also important for teachers to communicate with parents and guardians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students before playing the film and/or engaging with the teaching and learning resources. 

Note: This film may not be suitable for viewing by all young people. Teachers are advised to use their discretion when deciding whether to show this film. If teaching in a context with a high proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, it is imperative that guidance is sought from the Principal and Aboriginal Education Officer (or equivalent) prior to screening the film.

Learning intentions:

  • Students explain the relationship between the media and controversy.
  • Students understand the nature of controversy.
  • Students understand why the media may engage with controversy.

21st century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingDigital LiteracyFlexibilityInitiativeProblem SolvingSocial SkillsTeam Work

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 English:

  • Identify and discuss main ideas, concepts and points of view in spoken texts to evaluate qualities, for example, the strength of an argument or the lyrical power of a poetic rendition (ACELY1719)

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)

Syllabus outcomes: EN4-1A, EN4-2A

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures (OI.6, OI,9)

Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students understand how the selection of a variety of language features can influence an audience. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using language features to engage the audience.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues, Indigenous Education

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: The Final Quarter – Media Constructions – English – Year 7

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to high – scaffold a student collaborative task.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class.

Keywords: media literacy, collaboration, persuasive texts, ethical media, The Final Quarter, documentary, Adam Goodes. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students understand…

  • … the relationship between the media and controversy.
  • … the nature of controversy.
  • … why the media may engage with controversy.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … define controversy and explain its relationship to the media.
  • … identify claims and the evidence used to support them.
  • … work collaboratively to solve the problem of how to best cover a controversy.
  • … consider the motivations of a character and how they might respond to a situation.
  • … reflect on their ideas and their skills as a collaborator.

Teacher content information:

This lesson will be centred around the acclaimed 2019 documentary, The Final Quarter. This film explores the detrimental treatment of AFL star Adam Goodes and the media and community responses. An Aboriginal player, and number 37 for the Sydney Swans, Adam Goodes was singled out for verbal abuse, booing and jeering by spectators from a range of clubs during the last thr

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: “If it matters, it produces controversy.” ~ Jay Greene, NASA Engineer

What is ‘controversy’?

1. Respond to the following question individually, then work on three points with a parter that you can share with the class.

What is the relationship between the media and controversy?

My thoughts Our three points

Caught Out: Controversial Claims

2. Watch this clip from The Final Quarter:

Twitter War (

How does this clip demonstrate the media’s role in creating, contributing to or escalating controversy?


3. Watch this clip from 'Media Watch':

Adam Goodes and the race debate (

Claim - and who it was made by Evidence given (write none if so) Fact check - is there evidence against this claim? What is it?
Alan Jones - The football star has brought this wave of hatred on himself    
- or - to view worksheets

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